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School of Politics, Philosophy, and Public Affairs Meet Our Faculty!!

Politics, Philosophy, and Public Affairs Portraits

Matt Stichter

Associate Professor

Office: Johnson Tower 817
Phone: 509-335-7121
Curriculum Vitae

My current research program in ethical theory involves articulating a novel conception of virtue in which virtues are understood as practical skills, for both involve learning how to act well. Learning a skill is a process of acquiring practical knowledge, that is, the knowledge of how to do something, like building a house or driving a car. With virtue, the practical knowledge is the knowledge of how to act morally well, like acting honestly or kindly. The virtuous person is seen as an ethical expert, who has achieved expertise in several moral skills. I ground my conception of skill acquisition in the latest psychological research on expertise, as well as in recent advances in cognitive science. This project highlights the relevance of skill acquisition for those working in areas of moral development and moral psychology. Furthermore, the discussion extends beyond the bounds of virtue theory, by examining the social and political concerns that arise with acknowledging the existence of ethical expertise.

Ph.D. in Philosophy, Bowling Green State University, 2007
M.A. in Philosophy, Bowling Green State University, 2003
B.A. in Philosophy, Vanderbilt University, 1996

Research Interests:
Ethical Theory (virtue ethics, moral psychology); Applied Ethics (animal ethics, business ethics); Philosophy of Expertise; Philosophy of Law; Social and Political Philosophy; Epistemology (virtue epistemology)

• Virtue as Skill, In Snow (ed.), Oxford Handbook of Virtue. Oxford, (forthcoming).
• The Structure of Death Penalty Arguments, Res Publica 20:2 (2014): 129-143.
• Virtues as Skills in Virtue Epistemology, Journal of Philosophical Research 38 (2013): 331-346.
• Justifying Animal Use in Education, Environmental Ethics 34 (2012): 199-209.
• Virtues, Skills, and Right Action, Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 14 (2011): 73-86.
• Rescuing Fair-Play as a Justification for Punishment, Res Publica 16:1 (2010): 73-81.
• Ethical Expertise, Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 10 (2007): 183-194.
• The Skill Model of Virtue, Philosophy in the Contemporary World 14 (2007): 39-49.
• The Skill of Virtue: Moral Virtues as Practical Skills, VDM Verlag Dr. Muller, 2007.

• Graduate Seminar in Ethical Theory
• Graduate Seminar in Business Ethics
• Social and Political Philosophy
• Philosophy of Law
• Ethical Theory
• Business Ethics
• Introduction to Ethics